Middle Eastern Misery

It’s a sad world. I read in the paper yesterday that the Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon turned up to the Iranian Holocaust denial “conference” organised by President Ahmadinejad.

I wonder if the Grand Dragon is aware of the history of Iran? Iran’s official religion is Shi’a Islam. As a result of the 1979 Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini became the leader of the new Islamic Republic of Iran. Since this time, Iran has tried to extend the influence of its particular brand of revolutionary Islam. President Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005. He sees himself as continuing this tradition, and after his election, he reportedly stated, “Thanks to the blood of the martyrs, a new Islamic revolution has arisen and the Islamic revolution of 1384 [the Iranian year at that time] will, if God wills, cut off the roots of injustice in the world.” He also reportedly said that “the wave of the Islamic revolution” would soon “reach the entire world.” He also called for Israel to be “wiped out” or “wiped off the map”. Iran has funded organisations such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, a militant Shi’ite paramilitary organisation, whose kidnap of two Israeli soldiers from Israeli territory sparked off the disasterous military incursion by the IDF into Lebanon.

Although obviously Ahmadinejad and Duke share a bond because of their anti-Semitism, I never thought to see them in the same room at the same time. Shared hatred produces strange bedfellows. I doubt that the Grand Dragon really wants the Islamic revolution to come to the land of the Ku Klux Klan. Perhaps he should think about that…

Unfortunately, sentiments such as this are not confined to Iranian presidents and Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragons. I saw a report the other day about an Australian website called Mission Islam, which has some extremely anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in its section entitled “New World Order“. I really hate nonsense like this with a passion.

As I have argued in a previous post, these kind of anti-Semitic notions are not just racist stereotypes. Racist stereotypes are bad enough, but these are worse. They are falsehoods which have been used in the past to justify genocide on a massive scale. And now, to add insult to injury, people such as Ahmadinejad seek to deny that the genocide occurred.

What is the agenda behind this? Ahmadinejad seeks to prove that the Holocaust did not occur, because he believes that the corollary is that Israel was not entitled to the grant of territory it received in 1947 after the war. More subtly, he seeks to use regional hatred of Israel to strengthen Iran’s prestige and religious influence in Arab countries. If Iran can “wipe Israel off the map”, or encourage other countries to turn their backs on Israel, its preeminence and power in the region will be assured.

Many Islamist terrorist groups (both Sunni and Shi’ite) say that they have brought terrorism to the West because they are dissatisfied by the ongoing occupation of Palestine by Israel. These groups hope that the average person just wants the threat of terrorism to go away and that the average person doesn’t care or know about the complicated history behind the occupation (also dealt with in a previous post). Israel is worried that the terrorist groups are succeeding, if this recent opinion piece from from Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz is anything to go by.

It is all very depressing. If Australians are tempted to think that Israel should be abolished, they should think how Australian settlers and immigrants would feel if all the indigenous people in Australia turned around and said, “We want you to all go back to where you came from. This is our land. You are occupying it against our will, and colonialists stole it from us 200 years ago.” What would the average Australian say? “Hey, I’ve got a connection to this land! I was born here, I grew up here. This is my country too. I don’t deserve to be punished because of the way in which this land was acquired.” I would also hope that the average Australian would be willing to share the land with Aboriginal people (although every time a native title case which is positive to indigenous people is handed down, my hopes seem to be dashed again).

The situation with Palestinians and Israelis is analogous, except that the Jews have had a continuing spiritual connection with the land in question since the Romans expelled them from the area in 135 CE. Obviously, what needs to be acheived is some kind of compromise in which the competing claims to the land are recognised (easier said than done, I know, but one can always hope).

For those who support the Palestinian cause and think that Ahmedinejad’s criticisms of the Holocaust are valid: how would they feel if Israel held a conference to deny the existence of the Nakba (‘cataclysm’), otherwise known as the expulsion of the Palestinians from Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israel War? I’m sure they would feel outraged. Of course, there are arguments as to the extent of the Nakba and as to the reasons why Palestinians fled, but as far as I am aware, Israel does not deny that it occurred or that it is an invention. And nor should it.

For those who wish to preemptively strike at Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas or the like, please keep in mind that this would probably result in the deaths of many innocent people. It may be trite to say it, but empathy is what prevents us from becoming inhuman. If the Nazis had had empathy for fellow innocent human beings, the Holocaust would never have happened. I think the Holocaust has produced a hardness in the hearts of some Jewish people: “No one helped the Jews in World War II, so why should we accomodate anyone else? We’ve got to look after ourselves and strike back before others do so.” I gather that those Jews who went meekly to the gas chambers are sometimes derisively called “sabon” (soap) in Israel, and some Jews believe that they should never be meek again. Nevertheless, I think it is very important to retain compassion and humanity. Otherwise one risks perpetrating the same crimes against another people as were perpetrated against one’s own people.

Among all this depressing commentary, there are a few rays of hope. Irfan Yusuf, an Australian Muslim lawyer, wrote an excellent commentary last year criticising Ahmedinejad’s rampant anti-Semitism, and drawing an interesting contrast between the attitudes of Ahmedinejad and Saladdin. A French Muslim commentator, Tariq Ramadan, has strongly criticised the tendency towards anti-Semitism in some modern Muslim thought:

“To my regret, anti-Semitic utterances have been heard not only from frustrated and confused young Muslims, but also from certain Muslim intellectuals and imams,” he says, “who in every crisis or political backsliding see the hand of the ‘Jewish lobby.’ There is nothing in Islam that gives legitimization to Judeophobia, xenophobia and the rejection of any human being because of his religion or the group to which he belongs. Anti-Semitism has no justification in Islam, the message of which demands respect for the Jewish religion and spirit, which are considered a noble expression of the People of the Book.”

Even when he identifies urges that have their source in economic distress and social frustration, or the desire to protest against Israel’s oppressive policy, among people who express themselves in an anti-Semitic way and are involved in anti-Semitic acts, Ramadan refuses to demonstrate understanding or forgiveness toward them. He says: “The social and political forces in the Muslim communities must act to educate toward the delegitimization of elements of anti-Semitism. Leaders and imams have the responsibility to disseminate an unequivocal message about the profound connections between Islam and Judaism and Islam’s recognition of Moses and the Torah.”

“Despite what is happening today in Israel and Palestine, despite [then Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon’s policy, despite the feelings of anger and frustration – those responsible for all the Muslim political and social organizations must open a clear dialogue that distinguishes between criticism of Israel’s policy, and anti-Semitic and Judeophobic statements and actions. This is lacking today and this is a great responsibility.”

I could not have said it better myself. Perhaps there is some hope after all. Let’s all stand up against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. And let’s hope for more examples of compassion, empathy and understanding from all.

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Filed under islam, judaism, middle east, politics

2 responses to “Middle Eastern Misery

  1. Anonymous

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FROM OLIVE GROVE BOOKS

    MENTOR, Ohio – THE PALESTINE CONSPIRACY, a genre spy-thriller by Robert Spirko, was fourth on the September best-seller list at Atlasbooks, Inc., a national book distributor.
    Spirko will be the guest-author at a book-signing at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Great Lakes Mall, on Sunday, Dec. 10, from noon – 3 pm.
    “It is time for the Israelis and Palestinians to return to the Camp David Peace Talks, resume where they left off and “freeze in place” the already-agreed-upon negotiating points,” Spirko says.
    “The Iraq Study Group should make this recommendation a top priority before trying to put-in-place a new strategy for Iraq – mainly because ramifications of a peace agreement between both sides will resonate deeply throughout the Muslim world in the way Jews and Muslims interact toward each other. It could have a profound ripple effect including how the United States is perceived by Islamists.” he emphasizes.
    “I have communicated that first step to the James Baker III and Lee Hamilton study group. It is important that both sides in the Middle East region are willing to come to their senses,” Spirko reiterates.
    He uses the following analogy for peace. “The Camp David accords have precedent and continuity through previous agreements. It’s like a marriage where both spouses in an argument storm away mad. They don’t divorce and then try to resume their relationship; rather, they come back together, settle their differences, and resume the marriage where they left off. It must be the same for the Middle East Peace talks.”
    Spirko’s book predicted terrorism against the United States & Israel in his book which takes place in Lebanon. It is eerily similar to the Beirut War which took place last summer between Hezbollah and Israel.
    Spirko says if these issues had been understood and discussed 18 years ago, perhaps two wars in the Persian Gulf, the Sept. 11th catastrophe and the new Beirut War would not have happened.
    “That aside,” he says, “It is never too late for peace.”

    -30-

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FROM OLIVE GROVE BOOKS

    MEDINA, OHIO – The Palestine Conspiracy, a genre spy-thriller by Robert Spirko, was fourth on the September best-seller list from Atlasbooks, Inc., a national book distributor.

    The spy-thriller predicted terrorism against the United States & Israel by Middle East terror groups. The novel takes place in Lebanon and is eerily similar to the Beirut War which took place only last summer between Hezbollah and Israel. The book can be purchased at book stores locally and nationally or through popular book sites like Amazon.com, Atlasbooks.com, Borders.com, Barnes&Nobles.com and local book sellers. Ingram Books, Baker & Taylor and Atlasbooks are the major distributors.

    Spirko says if these issues had been understood and discussed 18 years ago, perhaps two wars in the Persian Gulf, the Sept. 11th catastrophe and the new Beirut War would not have happened.

    “That aside,” he says, “It is never too late for peace.”

    -30-

    TO BOOK EDITOR: press release

    Hello,

    We are writing to inform you about a book related to what is happening now in the Middle East released by Olive Grove Books entitled THE PALESTINE CONSPIRACY. This book takes place in Beirut.

    Because the region of Palestine and the repercussions it holds for peace in the Middle East between the PLO and Israel are critically important, the issues discussed via this spy-thriller makes it interesting and informative so that people all over the world can understand exactly how both sides think and how that thinking has led to continual violence in the Middle East.

    If these issues had been understood and discussed 18 years ago, perhaps two wars in the Persian Gulf, the Sept. 11th catastrophe and this new Beirut War would not have happened.

    That aside, it is never too late for peace.

    With your consideration, we at Olive Grove Books hope you give THE PALESTINE CONSPIRACY its rightful place in history and on your web site and store book shelves.

    It is a book, which has come of age, and is so timely that it is a must read for everyone who wants to understand what is going on in the Middle East.

    With appreciation and gratitude,

    Sincerely, from the publisher,

    THE PALESTINE CONSPIRACY
    Robert Spirko, author
    ISBN: 0-9752508-0-9
    Olive Grove Publishers

    ****INGRAM BOOKS IS THE MAJOR DISTRIBUTOR, ALONG WITH ATLASBOOKS, BAKER & TAYLOR AND OTHERS, 1-800-247-6553 OR 1-800-BOOKLOG

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    MEDINA, Ohio – When it comes to spy novels and Middle East intrigue, after 16 spell-binding years, the gripping story behind the Middle East quagmire – its issues of nuclear weapons and the quest for a Palestinian State – is finally being told in a ground-breaking new book entitled, THE PALESTINE CONSPIRACY.

    Author Robert Spirko created the work in such a way that every reader in the world will understand all the intricate issues in the Middle East and how close the region actually came to the brink of nuclear Armageddon.

    Mr. Spirko has a unique way of holding the reader in his grasp as the plot of THE PALESTINE CONSPIRACY unfolds. He literally takes you from your armchair and immerses you into the lifestyle of the Bedouin, the Israeli, the PLO and the mindset of the Middle-Easterner.

    THE PALESTINE CONSPIRACY is not just another spy-novel; it is the quintessential spy-thriller because it forces the reader to understand how both sides “think” and why that thinking ultimately led to repeated wars in the Middle East.

    Spirko, a financial and geo-political analyst, turned his attention to the Middle East in 1987, after discovering several common elements related to the Middle East question. In working for peace, and after several frustrating years, he put down his analysis in writing and when he was finished, he not only had a solution to the quagmire, he had a story to tell.

    But, nobody was listening.

    Today, all that has changed, thanks to Olive Grove Publishers who decided to give his book a chance.

    When the Palestinian question came to a festering crisis in 1990, he had already predicted several of the actual events before they occurred. For instance, Spirko predicted the Intifada and Persian Gulf War, missing the actual invasion date of Kuwait by only one week. He did this through spectacular supposition, analysis and prediction based on what he was “seeing” in the region.

    When Spirko typed his manuscript, he set the work to fiction, about what he thought might occur soon in the Middle East involving weapons of mass destruction, nuclear proliferation, the Palestinian uprising before it occurred, and how the Palestinian question begged to be answered, little did he realize that every event he described in the book would eventually transpire.

    His story of what was really happening behind the scenes in the Middle East is truly astounding and remarkable, and his contribution to the Camp David Peace Talks in 2000, formulated a solution to the Jerusalem question. When the BBC got wind of it, they termed it “as nothing short of brilliant” – Jerusalem becoming the simultaneous capitals of both Israel and Palestine in congruous or concentric zones.

    Spirko originally copyrighted his book on October 20, 1987, in the U. S.
    Library of Congress where intelligence agencies reviewed his work.

    Today, finally, somebody is listening.

    (MORE)

    PALESTINE-AD-1

    Spirko feels that both sides must return to the Camp David Peace Talks and resume where they left off and “freeze in place” the already-agreed-upon negotiating points.

    “It’s like a marriage where both spouses storm away mad in an argument.
    They don’t divorce and then try to resume their relationship, they come back together, settle their differences, and resume their marriage. It must be the same for the Middle East Peace talks,” Spirko says.

    The story begins in Beirut, Lebanon, once a great financial capital of the Middle East, which lay in ruin, having been systematically blasted to rubble during 20 years of inexhaustible civil war and siege by Israel, the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah and Lebanese factions. Soon, the quest for a Palestinian State would be framed by these events; namely, the invasion of Kuwait by a neighboring rogue state, Iraq, with Saddam Hussein’s goal of seeking nuclear parity with Israel.

    In Mr. Spirko’s story, Rick Waite, a forgotten UPI correspondent, and Adrienne Waters, a Pulitzer Prize journalist from the London Times, meet-up in Beirut with a PLO operative named Ahmed, who discovers a secret intelligence memo about a secret plan to destroy Israel.

    In the ensuing chase to find the answer to this secret communiqué and what it means, a deadly race against time begins as the unlikely trio tries to halt the launch of a secret weapon from a hidden PLO base camp in the Syrian Desert. U. S. and British intelligence operatives have their own agenda, and attempt to stop whatever is going on to save the entire region from a nuclear holocaust.

    Spirko weaves a tale of chilling duplicity and thrilling action, as the characters evade and devise a method to announce the discovery of nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles to the rest of the world – all while United Nations’ delegates bicker endlessly.

    An executive at BookMasters, Inc., says, “The book is absolutely stunning in the manner in which Mr. Spirko, tells his tale. He is truly a master as an analyst, and it’s totally unlike anything else we’ve ever read in a spy-thriller. It keeps you turning pages and won’t let you quit – until the very end. And, what an ending it is! If you crave twisting plots, thrilling spy-action and intriguing characters, then this is the book for you.”

    Spirko, whose own background includes a stint in the U. S. Air Force and has given his advice to the National Security Council in Washington, D. C., has a degree in journalism and knows first-hand about the newsroom and what it takes to be an intelligence field agent. His knowledge of the trade makes the story real, daunting, and strikingly similar to “The Year of Living Dangerously.”

    “THE PALESTINE CONSPIRACY drips with reality,” quips a book reviewer from Olive Grove Publishers. “If books were rated by Siskel & Roeper, it would be given a two-thumbs up.”

    Not since, Casablanca, do characters as earthy as Rick Waite, or as beautifully mysterious as London Times reporter, Adrienne Waters, or as desperate as PLO operative, Ahmed, bring fresh characters to a story that will be remembered by readers for a long time.

    The novel is a mass market paperback produced by Olive Grove Publishers, and can be purchased at area bookstores through Ingram Book Group, New Leaf Distribution, and Baker and Taylor, priced at $14.99, ISBN 0-9752508-0-9. THE PALESTINE CONSPIRACY can also be ordered on the web at http://www.atlasbooks.com, or email orders from: order@bookmasters.com, or from Barnes & Nobles, Border’s, Dalton’s, efollett.com & Follett bookstores at colleges and universities, WaldenBooks, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com and other popular retail bookstores. Or, readers and store managers can call 1-800-BOOKLOG, or 800-247-6553 direct, to order.

    For readers who want to know what was really going on in the Middle East prior to the Persian Gulf War, Sept. 11th, and Iraq War, THE PALESTINE CONSPIRACY, is a must read.

    -30-

    =============================================================

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    Warren, Ohio – When both sides walked away from the peace table at Camp David in 2000, Robert Spirko, author of THE PALESTINE CONSPIRACY warned negotiators Ehud Barak of Israel and Chairman Yasser Arafat that they would descend into the abyss of hell.

    “And, they did,” Spirko says, “and, so have we.” Spirko is a native of Warren and a former Tribune staff writer.

    That warning came after both sides had already agreed upon Jerusalem as the simultaneous capital of both Israel and Palestine, according to Spirko.

    “When both parties agreed on Jerusalem, an issue they both said they could never agree on, then left the peace table over reparations and the right of return, 8,000 lives were lost in the ensuing four years, including America’s 9/11 catastrophe,” Spirko reveals. “Chairman Arafat should have taken the deal. He had 90% of what he wanted. The Israelis offered to build upon that later if Arafat would stop the suicide bombers.
    Chairman Arafat would take the same deal today if it was offered, but it may be too late.”

    He explains, “The failed talks were a catastrophe for both the Middle East, and the United States, and the only way out is to resurrect the peace talks at Camp David, freeze the already agreed upon points, and resume where both parties left off.”

    Spirko will be the guest author at a book signing, at Borders Books, near Eastwood Mall, on Saturday, Aug. 30, from 1 to 4 p.m.

    Spirko has given his advice to the National Security Council in Washington, D. C. over the years, and is a 1965 graduate of the Kent State University School of Journalism. He studied for his MBA at Kent State University and currently analyzes geo-political trends as an investment advisor.

    He wrote the book as a spy-thriller detailing what and how the quest for a Palestinian State turned into an ongoing disaster predicting Iraq and Iran would seek to develop weapons of mass destruction. The yet-to-be-resolved “right of return” and reparations were ignored by both sides at the 2000 Camp David Peace Talks. Those issues could have been negotiated later. Ideas presented by Mr. Spirko at those peace talks included letting both sides have the right to name Jerusalem as each nation’s capital, an idea that the BBC in Great Britain termed as “brilliant.”.

    “The idea was to create simultaneous capitals for both countries-Palestine and Israel-with Jerusalem as the capital of each using congruous zones and a neutral governing district involving representatives from both sides with God as the central sovereign because they both believe in the same God, whether He is called Allah or Jehovah,” Spirko reiterates.

    (more)

    ad-1 Palestine

    “As we speak, Israel’s Ariel Sharon lies in a coma and Yasser Arafat is dead. Israel agreed to a withdrawal from Israeli settlements in Gaza, and a partial withdrawal in the West Bank. That could have been achieved six years ago at Camp David. Now, Hezbollah and Hamas have thrown a monkey-wrench into the scenario which could lead the United States and the world into World War III.”

    Spirko’s book takes place in Beirut, Lebanon. It details what he thought would occur in the Middle East before the actual events; namely, the Persian Gulf War, the Iraq War, the Intifada, and other events leading up to Sept. 11. His analysis, written as a novel in 1987 and copyrighted in the U.S. Library of Congress that year, warned that the Middle East was heading toward nuclear Armageddon if a rogue Arab state, Iraq or Iran, obtained nuclear weapons. For 17 years publishers refused to publish the book because they told Mr. Spirko that the events he described in his book “couldn’t possibly happen.”

    Mr. Spirko will be on hand to autograph books.

    -30-

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    MEDINA, Ohio – “The Middle East is heading toward a new World War if Syria and Iran continue to aid and abet terrorism and try to develop nuclear weapons to threaten both Israel and the United States,” says Robert Spirko, author of THE PALESTINE CONSPIRACY, a book which predicted both wars in the region.

    He says both Iran and Syria are treading on dangerous ground in their quest to continue the war in Palestine and in attempting to enrich uranium for use in an atomic bomb.

    Spirko will be the guest author at a book signing on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 1-3 p.m. at Waldenbooks, in Great Northern Mall.

    Spirko, a financial and geo-political analyst, turned his attention to the Middle East in 1987, after discovering several common elements related to the Middle East question. He wrote down his analysis, and when he was finished, he not only had a solution to the quagmire, he had a story to tell.

    THE PALESTINE CONSPIRACY predicted many of the events that occurred three years later, even the firing of missiles which hit Israel.

    “The United States, Great Britain, France, Russia, and China will never allow them to obtain enough nuclear technology to construct weapons of mass destruction,” says Spirko.

    Spirko, whose book foreshadowed the Persian Gulf War by three years, and the resultant Iraq War following the Sept. 11 attack, warned the consequences would be catastrophic for those Muslim nations who insist on continuing down that nuclear path.

    “The chief threat in the region I see right now is the threat to Saudi Arabia by Al Quaida. If Al Quaida were to overthrow the present royal family in Saudi Arabia, cutting off the oil supply to the western nations including Japan and China, it would bring down entire world economies.
    France and Germany would be begging us to go to war to retake those oil wells. It would be World War III,” he emphasizes.

    If such a scenario were to occur, France and the European economies could collapse in a matter of weeks.

    “And, it’s all related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict which I said back in 1987 that is the crux of my book. It always has been, and always will be until it’s settled. That linkage is exactly what Osama Bin Laden stated in a taped message aired the weekend before the election in November. Whether you believe him or not is beside the point. That’s what’s he told us, and we’d better take that into account.”

    “We are again on the threshold of peace in the Middle East. But, we’re also on the threshold of World War III. We better get it right this time, ” Spirko emphasizes.

    -30-

  2. Pingback: Yet more thoughts on Anti-Semitism « The Legal Soapbox

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